A Blood Test for Your Dog

As a matter of routine during our yearly physicals we have blood work done to check our cholesterol levels, blood sugar and many other things. It is a way to help us track our health, change our ways and be alert to a pending problem. But, how many of us have ever thought about a blood test for our dogs?

A blood test should be part of our dog’s yearly exam, too, as it would open the window to what might be some serious but preventable problems in regard to our dogs health in future years,

A good yearly exam at your veterinarian’s should include not only checking the dog’s temperature, pulse and heart, but examining your pet’s entire body, eyes, ears, nose, teeth, skin, coat and limbs. A complete blood test, which should include a complete blood count and chemistry panel, generally costs about $100. A great deal of money, I agree, however if your dog is over six years of age or older it is money wisely spent.

Why? It is a window into what is happening inside your dog, it is that first line of defense against the large number of life threatening diseases that can attack your dog. You could call it preventative medicine, as it will alert you to serious problems that can possibly be nipped the bud (so to speak) if caught in the very early stages of development. It can actually save you money in the long run.

A dog’s blood does the same job in a dog’s body as ours does in our human bodies. It carries oxygen and nutrients to the body tissues and carries carbon dioxide and wastes away from them. Blood also aids in cell development, helps repair tissue, helps ward off infection and is full of all the necessary ingredients that are so important to a dog’s health. Because blood has all these important jobs to do, it can also tell us when something is going wrong.

A blood test will do a red blood cell count, a white blood cell count and a platelet count, all of which will tell you exactly what is happening inside of that body of your favorite pal. Your dog cannot talk and tell you what is wrong, but a blood test may do the talking for him/her.

A chemistry panel, which is part of a blood test, can tell you what is going on with your dog’s organs. It can evaluate the many substances in the body and tell if there are problems in the kidneys, liver, muscles or glands.

A chemistry panel also measures the total amount of proteins that are in the dog’s body. It can measure the high or low levels of these proteins and the affect they have on your dog’s body to retain water and fight off infections.

As complete blood work helps our doctor understand our bodies, it works the same for our dogs. A veterinarian is able to get a complete picture of your dog’s health and the state of its health, when blood work is part of the yearly examination. It is extremely important as your dog ages that you consider this option.

An ounce of prevention even though it may cost a bit, is worth the price of trying to find a cure for something that could have been prevented or treated early on.

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